What Happens to Your Child’s IEP If You Switch Schools?
An Individualized Education Program (IEP) is a plan. It may not be the best-laid plan, but it is a plan nonetheless. Essentially, it is a document that is developed for each public school child who needs special education. It is created through a team effort and reviewed periodically based upon specifics according to state requirements.
The term (IEP) itself is referenced anywhere specifics are discussed pertaining to a child's education in K-12. All must meet the requirements of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act. The Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) is the federal law, which states that all eligible children must be provided with a free, appropriate public education.
As far as state law is concerned, different states may use different language to describe their services. It can even vary, district by district.
Here, we will break it down into three scenarios.
1. Switching Within the District
As long as you stay in your district, your IEP remains as well. You agree to it with the district, after all. This choice is clearly the least complicated for you and your child study team leader.
2. Switching Within the Same State
The choice here is with the new school. Will they or won’t they accept your child’s current IEP? Will they develop a new one? If so, your new district will still have to go through the standard IEP process. Like before, you will always have the right to be involved. Until it makes its decision, your child’s new school must continue to provide “comparable” services to those in your current IEP.
3. Switching to Another State
When the state changes, the rules change. It must be decided if your child qualifies for special education service, under these new rules. If so, the new school will develop a new IEP for your child; therefore your input is still expected. In the meantime, the same rule applies about “comparable” services. Since you are in a new state, you may want to check in with their department of education or Parent Training and Information Center. Ideally, your new school will simply want the most updated information. Perhaps they do things differently. If you can start planning by requesting your child’s school records and review how the IEP process works in the state you are considering.
Alpha School an private special education school in New Jersey
Our Mission at The Alpha School is to help all of our special needs students with the learning, social, language, and behavioral support they deserve. Our highly skilled staff are committed daily to helping each student to becoming the best they can while providing a safe and nurturing educational environment.
We would be more than happy to discuss your child’s specific needs and challenges, so please call us at 732.370.1150, or request a tour of Alpha School of Jackson, NJ located just minutes off of Route 9 and Route 195 in Ocean County.
— Monica DeTuro, Principal-Alpha School, Jackson, NJ